Black Moon


Black Moon

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Reviews Counted: 10

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User Ratings: 1,050


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

In Louis Malle's apocalyptic fantasy Black Moon, Lily (Cathryn Harrison, granddaughter of Rex) drives down a lonesome road, and soon finds herself in a alternate world full of non sequiturs and bizarre characters. At times, this looks like a David Lynch film, what with an old woman conversing with a rat, a pack of naked children chasing a pig, a talking unicorn, a strange set of possibly incestuous siblings (one of whom is "underground" film star Joe Dallesandro), and several other warped set pieces. Malle reportedly culled inspiration for the narrative of this film from his own dreams. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi


Therese Giehse
as The Old Woman/The Unicorn

Critic Reviews for Black Moon

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (2)

  • There is an order to this film, but we must supply it, each according to his needs.

    Jun 23, 2007 | Rating: 3/5
  • Malle offers no explanation for his heroine's visionary odyssey through a world in which all history runs parallel with all realities. Yet a logic is there, even if its reference point is jabberwocky.

    Jun 23, 2007

    Tom Milne

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Fans for such a film need insight more than sundry freakout moments.

    Sep 27, 2011 | Rating: 4/10 | Full Review…
  • Some critics described Black Moon as a sort of darker Alice in Wonderland, but it's much too tedious to approach that level of entertainment.

    Sep 9, 2011 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…
  • its outlandish and nonsensical detours begin to feel less like the "automatic writing" of the surrealists and more like a series of meandering, meaningless head games, each melting into the next with no lasting impact.

    Jul 21, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • Is there a single film that combines genocide, a talking unicorn, and breast feeding?... Yes!

    Jun 28, 2011 | Rating: 7/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Black Moon

Black Moon is the theatrical realization of an apocalyptic dream conceived by Louis Malle featuring the most bizarre: a war, a senile woman, a bevy of naked children, and a unicorn. A surreal escape. Eccentric.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer


Louis Malle's most abstract and interpretive work is one that while not understood at the time, wait until you see the film, has garnered attention more recently. Going in to this film you have to turn off that notion of following a direct plot line and logic because the film is most simply an experience. Malle says, as noted in the booklet accompanying the Criterion edition " Each time something appeared that looked like a plotline, I would cross it out." This direction means that you are watching not so much a normal paced film but a series of events that the mind can interpret in a variety of ways, quite diversely I may add as the film is filled to the brim with symbolism. All this being said the film is wonderfully shot and handled with dedication and respect and is no doubt a Malle work. The supplementary features which are unfortunately quite short for a Criterion especially, add great insight into the film. Malle says that it is absurd to ask a director the meaning behind the piece and that cinema is the worst when it comes to the scrutiny people force upon the creators. He basically leaves it to the viewer to decide what it means for them, and that is perfectly stated and true. I can't recommend this for most, but if you are like me and appreciate the obscure and abstract it is one worth watching!

Chris Browning
Chris Browning

Super Reviewer


A young woman flees a shooting war between the sexes and holes up at a farmhouse with a bedridden old woman, a brother and sister both named "Lily," a bunch of naked children, and a unicorn. Pure surrealism is hard to pull off at feature length (even Bunuel and Lynch rarely attempted it). Louis Malle proves not to be up to the challenge, either, though there are some good individual moments (who wouldn't love the unicorn)?

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


"Black Moon" starts out with a porcupine minding its business in the middle of the road when it is run over by a young woman speeding along in a car. A war is going on. Even though we're never exactly told what it's for, it's a good guess that it might be a war between the genders. She barely escapes a roadblock, comes across another group of soldiers and then stumbles through the woods. And that is when the unicorn appears... "Black Moon" is a rather unique film, with a debt being owed to Lewis Carroll. And any sort of goodwill created by the unique setting is generally undone by a good deal of incoherence.(There is very little dialogue in this film. In fact, there is not any until about half hour into the film.) We don't have to have everything spelled out for us but we must have half a clue as to what is going on. Or, what the rules of the new reality are, if it is a new one, at all. (Originally reviewed in the blog section on July 10, 2005.)

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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